29 Dec 2011

Take a look back!


Hi folks,


Hopefully you’ve had a great Christmas (& didn’t feel too bloated haha!) & enjoyed  few lazy days this week. Many of us are back at work just clearing our inboxes ready for a fresh start in 2012! So BEFORE we start thinking about New Year resolutions & about what we want to achieve, just stop for a second.

Whilst the positive stresses of setting a goal is important, lets take a minute to assess how we did over the last year. Did you achieve last year’s resolution? (can you remember it?), did you over come any big hurdles, make any life-changing decisions, gain any qualifications, get a promotion or new job, changed your lifestyle, taken up a new hobby or skill? Chances are that you’ve achieved more than you realise over the last 12 months, so now’s the perfect time to sit back with a smug grin & pat yourself on the back.

Some of us may not feel like we have accomplished that much which is great if we are really happy where we are, but if you want to keep moving forward then next weeks blog will be really important to you!


Leaving our personal health aside & looking at the occupational health industry as a whole over 2011, here’s how its changed;

1)      There has been a big focus on worker involvement for SOPs & EAPs. The NHS, 2012 Olympic construction sites, & many HSE led projects are all doing this.

2)      More ‘healthy menu’s’ are popping up in many company canteens.

3)      Charity events involving some sort of physical challenge have become trendy.

4)      Back care is being tackled pro-actively, which is brilliant! We just need to expand this approach.


Hope you have found my blogs useful in 2011, thanks for reading!

James.

22 Dec 2011

Make Christmas last that bit longer


Hi folks,

Most workforces are breaking up for Christmas tomorrow so workforce health advice here is not much use at the moment. I could talk about how to make your Christmas dinner that bit healthier but let’s be realistic – I’m looking forward to all the trimmings too!

One thing I bet a few of us would change is that bloated feeling afterwards though. So here’s my top tactics to help you keep that party feeling all day:


  1. Choose soup as a starter of possible as this will digest quicker.

  1. Choose more meat & veg, - reducing the portions of potato & bread. This will stop you feeling bloated.

  1. Don’t drink liquids with your meal (just sips of water if dry). Try to fully hydrate 30min before hand.

  1. Savour every mouthful – a lot of work has probably gone in to it. Chewing more makes digestion easier & satisfies your hunger.

  1. Get chatty. The more we talk, the longer we take over our meals = a steady gut action.

  1. Space each course out by at least 20min if possible. This allows your gut to cope with the volume of food.

  1. Don’t feel that you have to eat EVERYTHING. Remember what’s left will go towards that tea-time & Boxing Day buffet! (left-over’s are the best!)

  1. Go for a 30min stroll afterwards. This not only gives you a chance to show off your Christmas jumper but the rhythm of walking helps your digestion system work really efficiently. I guarantee you’ll feel much better than being slumped in a chair.


All that’s left to say is have a fantastic Christmas & make sure you relax & laugh as much as possible!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

15 Dec 2011

Ooops time for a blog re-call!


Hi folks,

This week I want to pull myself up on a blog I posted a few weeks ago called ‘Don’t in-tolerate it’. In this I was reviewing several ways to find out if we have any food intolerances or not. Two of these involved sending off a hair sample or using a blood testing kit, both of which I was planning to do myself. However, some recent studies now show that these methods are not always as reliable as they may seem.

After further chatting to nutritionists & advice from a GP, the most reliable method is to remove suspect foods from your diet & see what difference this makes. So if you regularly feel bloated, suffer migraines, stomach cramps, or hit energy lows, then try to think what foods you have eaten that day. But what if this suspect food is an important part of your diet? – by cutting it out you may be missing out on its valuable vitamins & minerals. For this reason, I’d recommend asking your GP to refer you to a nutritionist who can help you safely remove suspect foods from your diet while making sure you still get all the right nutrition from other foods.

It’s also worth mentioning that even if the previous tests are accurate, one of their flaws is that they only measure your body’s reaction at one point in time. We know that our body goes through many stages of change, so what you may currently be intolerant to may not cause a reaction if re-introduced as soon as 6 months later.  

At the end of the day, it sounds like the best message is to eat a varied & balanced diet, then listen to our bodies making small changes along the way if necessary.

James 

7 Dec 2011

Have you seen the Headlines?



Hi folks,


I’m bringing you this week’s blog early as new research on cancer prevention is all over the news today. In case you’ve not seen it, a study reports that over 40% (100,000 pa) of UK cancer cases could be prevented by addressing 4 key elements:

1)      Stopping smoking
2)      Eating more fruit & veg
3)      Not drinking to excess
4)      Obesity


We’ve always known this right, so what’s new? Well Cancer Research UK has published the biggest study yet which highlights just how significant these lifestyle changes are when it comes to our risk of developing cancer. Developing cancer is not solely down to genes or a total lottery, we can have a major influence.


Let’s take this news a step further – workforce ownership! Changes are down to the individual however as an employer, these people are in your care for a large part of their day / lives. By addressing the above key elements as an employer, you are also evolving a healthier & higher performing workforce which pays valuable dividends, not to mention an enviable corporate status. If ever there was a win: win situation this is it!

We run short courses specially designed address workplace nutrition & to combat obesity. Contact me now to ‘take the bull by the horns!’


James

1 Dec 2011

Attitude problem?




Hi folks,

In case you don’t know what my company stands for, then its pro-active health promotion! Many of my methods taught in the workshops are practical stretches, exercises, postures etc which improve our muscular-skeletal health & therefore our work performance. However, my latest research is unveiling that even just having the correct attitude towards work & health can be of significant benefit alone.

Can just having a positive attitude really affect us physically? – well it seems so.  Below is a list of attributes that will help stop you / your workforce suffering ill health:


         Enjoying your job & being positively challenged by it.

         Working around others (rather than being isolated)

         Having good relationships with your managers & other departments

         Not fearing injury or thinking becoming ill is ‘the end of the world’

                       …learn more attributes in our Workforce Workshops.


Every workplace has a unique workforce culture depending on its demographics. Some will naturally be more positive where as others may traditionally be more pessimistic. However being British, a great sense of humour will be a beneficial feature of most. My own thoughts are that a positive attitude is essential & can prevent the onset of many health conditions, but there are still many that also need the physical approach. This is why I have now combined an element of new-thinking in many of my workshops, especially in my ‘Lower back pain management’ & ‘Positive attitudes towards workplace health & performance’ workshops.  

Thanks for reading & why not add your thoughts in the comments box?

James

25 Nov 2011

Reduce heart attack risk by up to 40% in your workforce!


Hi folks,

A recent study of men whose occupations involve heavy labour has revealed significant results. Holtermann who led the study, found that men with high fitness levels are 40% less likely to suffer from IHDs (ischemic heart diseases) such as heart attacks, than those who are considered unfit.

Holterman and co-authors reported “The results suggest that by maintaining good physical fitness, men who engage in heavy labour can avoid increased risk, and possibly even lower their risk of death from heart disease.”


Okay so what’s new – everyone knows that keeping fit lowers our risk of illness as well as bringing a whole host of other benefits right, so why aren’t employers being pro-active about this? Well there’s the evidence & here’s what to do about it:

  1. Check out our Workforce Workouts

  1. Email me via our website

  1. We’ll visit your company & design a package of exercises specifically to benefit your workers tasks.

  1. Get ready to reap the benefits of a healthy & high performing workforce:

         Lower risk of heart disease (as above)
         More efficient & productive employees
         Higher workforce moral / teamwork
         Lower sickness / absence costs
         Be known as an employer of choice
…any many more!


As well as looking after your employees, this make great business sense as studies show such measures bring an awesome return on investment.

James

11 Nov 2011

Tactical Treats


Hi folks,


I’m sure you’ve noticed all the Christmas foods entering the shops & if you’re anything like me your will-power is already being tested. Unfortunately our receptors haven’t evolved since hunter-gatherer times so we still crave high sugar / high fat foods. Whilst it’s healthy for us to have occasional TREATS, we all know what they can do to our bodies. So, how can we enjoy ourselves whilst minimising the impact of these treat foods?


Try a few tactics:

1. Try eating any treat foods (especially the fattier ones) earlier on in the day rather than on an evening - but not replacing breakfast! This way their calories are more likely to be put to use.

2. Try eating any sugary treats 1-2hrs before a period of exercise. Again, the calories they contain may be used up for energy. However, too much sugar here and research shows that the body may actually start storing it, when it otherwise would be burning it.

3. After exercise is one of the best times if you are going to have a treat. Depending on your type of training, your metabolism (the rate at which you are burning calories) is still high and so any calories entering the bloodstream will be used to for energy.

4. Lower your risk of diabetes by selecting treats with a low glycaemic load (GL) or eating any sugary treats with complex carbohydrates so the sugars digest slower and don’t hammer your insulin levels. Don’t forget though that the sugar may be digesting slower but its still that same calorie content.


Remember folks, this is my advice of where to best have TREATS, & not how to try to get away with regular ‘junk food’, so be good!

To learn how snacks can be a powerful alli in helping your workforce to stay alert on the job & recover between shifts, click here. We can help, so why miss out on getting the most from your workforce?

Thanks

James

4 Nov 2011

Don’t in-tolerate it!


Hi folks

Remember a recent blog entitled ‘nation of inflammation’? Well this week we take it a step further. We talked about how our guts may reject or flare-up after eating certain foods, this however not always shows any symptoms (or none that we would associate anyway). As ignoring any intolerances may cause us problems in the future, it makes sense to find out if we have any - right?


Which method suits you?:

1) Wieger machine: A low current electrical circuit is set up. This circuit involves you – holding on to electrodes, a volt meter, & a food chamber. In turn extracts of various foods are placed in the chamber & depending on the action of the needle on the meter, you are either intolerant or tolerant to that food. I know this sounds like a torture device but the voltage is too low to feel. Don't attempt a DIY version though!

2) Kinesiology: This is a complementary therapy that is usually used for muscle testing, however the reaction of muscle tissue when a food extract gel is applied is said  to reveal food intolerances.

3) Home kits: For around £50 you can buy a kit that involves you taking a pin-prick of you own blood, mixing it with a solution, then pouring over a tray of tiny wells. Depending on what colour a well turns, gives your tolerance outcome for that related food. This method is user friendly but accuracy depends on your interpretation (its that blue or purple?).

4) By post: Sending a sample of your hair or blood off to the labs will be more accurate. It’s quick, hassle free & range from around the same price as a home kit right up to £250. Here are the best links for this method:


So if you do decide to go ahead with testing, then please let me know & how your changes have affected your well-being at home & at work. For further information on health in the workplace please visit our website or join me on LinkedIn.

Enjoy the fireworks guys!

James

27 Oct 2011

Slow & steady wins that Waist!


Hi folks,


You may have our eating habits under scrutiny in the news recently. Only yesterday I was sat eating my dinner & someone across the cafĂ© was scoffing their meal so fast it almost looked speeded-up!  Now I know in today’s hectic world not many of us take all of our lunch break or even eat at the desk, but the latest research says that this could be contributing towards obesity.

Here’s a few tips on how to enjoy your food & your waistline:

1)      Cut sandwiches or wraps in to smaller sections

2)      Chew each mouthful 30+ times rather than the usual 10. You may consume up to 15% less (that’s up to 375 less calories per day!).

3)      Slow the pace down by having a conversation, watching TV, or reading a magazine.

4)      The 20min rule: Eat 2/3rds of your meal, wait 20min & if your still hungry then have a little more. Why – the body takes time to register that its full.

5)      Eat breakfast & healthy snacks! People who don’t eat regularly tend to reach for the ‘bad’ foods & larger portions when they do eat as they are starving.

*further information on ‘conscious eating’ at:


Statistics show that people in the UK are getting fatter which may in-turn have a negative affect on their job. So encourage your workforce to use their break allowances, be social & take their time. To learnt more on how to use nutrition & other aspects to get more from your workforce contact me at www.occupational-fitness.com


Enjoy Halloween & savour the festive treats!

James

20 Oct 2011

Pluck a hair for health!


   
Hi folks,

A short while ago I blogged about looking for signs of nutrient deficiencies in our bodies. If we have any deficiencies they may be through an ‘incomplete’ diet, a higher than average requirement (activity levels, hormone levels), or perhaps our body can’t process them properly. Either way our body would not be functioning to its best, physically or mentally, at home or at work!


One easy way to test our nutrient & mineral status is by analysing a hair sample. Each strand of our hair stores information on our nutrient, mineral, & toxicity balance. By checking these levels, scientists can see if your body’s endocrine glands are being stimulated or inhibited. These glands are responsible for nutrient absorption, utilization, & excretion which in-turn relates to digestive health, viral infections, & your metabolic rate.


Here is a link to a company who provide the service, however I must stress that I do not endorse them as I have not used them or any similar service….yet.

If you want to do it another way, you can test mineral deficiency / over consumption by taste! Here’s the link.


So, why not take this simple test to check that your body’s in optimal health and therefore working at its best for longer!  I will let you know about my results when I get them so please let me know if you have had yours tested too.

Thanks


James.

14 Oct 2011

Hydrating food!


Hi folks,

Just in case you wondered, im not going to be talking about pumping water in to pineapples......although some manufactures do that with chicken! You may remember a blog way back in August 2010 expressing the importance of hydration. Research has revealed that certain foods can hydrate you better that plain old water! How? – They contain just the right balance of vitamins & minerals that help our bodies make use of their water content (similar to isotonic drinks). So now I’m going to let you in on these foods that may help you get the recommended 2.5ltrs per day.


The top 5 foods with high water content:


  1. Water melon

  1. Bell peppers

  1. Grapefruit

  1. Aubergine

  1. Kiwi fruit

Add these foods to your weekly shopping list if you want to improve / maintain concentration levels, energy levels, fluid regulation, waste removal, plus a whole host of other bodily processes. Remember we lose fluids through sweat & breath vapour every day so if your occupation or hobbies involve being active then these foods may be especially valuable.


If you would like to know more about hydration / energy strategies & their benefits for your workforce then contact me through our website at www.occupational-fitness.com.

Thanks

James


6 Oct 2011

Get your share of Sunny-D!



Hi Folks, (nope it's not a free drinks voucher)


You may have heard in the news this week that studies have shown that people with fair skin may be lacking in vitamin D. Sometimes news articles can be sketchy so here’s the low-down:

When our skin is exposed to the sun’s ultra violet (UV) light, it causes vitamin D to be produced. Vitamin D is known to at least be important for healthy bones & teeth, & therefore in preventing associated diseases such as osteoporosis.

It seems that due to the tendency of fair skin to burn easily, their behaviour is that they do not spend enough time in the sun light & so may be low in vitamin D. Similarly neither may elderly people who cover up or those wearing full body religious clothing.


Researches more conclusive evidence is needed before recommending supplements, however a 0.01mg daily supplement won’t do the vast majority of us any harm. A supplement is already recommended for people of dark / black skin.   

My personal advice is as always – get if from your food:  

         Mackerel
         Sardines
         Tuna (canned in oil)
         Eggs
         Dairy products

These are all packed full of other nutrients too so get chomping!

James

29 Sept 2011

Skin Deep


Hi folks,

Our skin is our largest organ & therefore is hugely influential. It helps stop bacteria, control temperature, & give us the sensation of touch. No wonder that when something is wrong on our insides, that it can show up in our skin. Below are a few signs that appear when your body is trying to tell you something.

         Yellow / orangey skin (inc soles of hands & feet) may indicate an underactive thyroid as it isn’t processing beta–carotene properly.

         Long dark lines on your palms suggest an issue with the adrenal gland, part of the endocrine system.

         Tingly feeling followed by a rash on one side of the body may be a symptom of shingles, a virus that can be stimulated by stress or infection.

         People with over 400 moles on their body may have a higher risk of skin cancer but their internal organs age slightly slower due to the length of the telomere in their cells!


Now that I’ve made you all super paranoid about your tongue, feet, eyes, & skin, remember not to go looking for these signs – just be aware of them. If you’re worried, as always consult your doctor. Most of all I hope this recent blog theme has shown just how amazing your body is, so eat clean, exercise regularly & look after it!

James 

22 Sept 2011

Eye-eye, whats up?


Hi Folks,

One of the first things we notice about a person or when looking in the mirror are our eyes. Think how ill or ‘hangover eyes’ differ from excited or sparkly eyes. The eyes are often known as the window to your health as we can directly see veins, arteries a nerve without performing any surgery. Give your eyes a break form the screen & perform a health check with the info below.


1. Outside edge of your eyebrows disappearing? This could indicate a thyroid (metabolism) problem.

2. Small yellow bumpy patches on the eyelids? Fatty deposits that may be a sign of high cholesterol.

3. Yellow whites of the eyes? Possible indication of liver, gallbladder or bile duct problems as the body can’t remove waste products.

4. Constant blood-shot eyes?  May be a sign of high blood pressure or diabetes.


Of course, we all occasionally experience most of the above but if any of these symptoms become regular then ask the doctor to take a look. We often forget to book eye exams so try treat these as appointments like your dentist check-up.

Next weeks topic will conclude this blog theme & focuses on your biggest organ – your skin!  

James.

8 Sept 2011

Uncover your feet


Hi folks,

As promised last week, here is my blog on how your feet can relay information about your internal health. My regular followers may remember a previous blog explaining the structural importance of our feet to the whole body (If you want to read this one click here.

The soles of our feet have a high concentration of nerve endings that travel up deep inside the body. Reflexology is based on the principle that a map of these nerves & reflexes correspond with internal organs & glands. A reflexology session consists of a type of foot massage where any discomfort or tenderness felt in a certain area of the foot is believed to indicate a corresponding internal problem. Despite limited scientific backing this treatment has been around for thousands of years & is still going strong today.


A more evidence-based foot assessment may reveal that:

         Sunken or spoon shaped toes nails are a sign of iron deficiency.
         Regular foot cramps may be a sign of low calcium, potassium, or magnesium.
         Un-healing sores on the underneath of the foot may indicate diabetes.
         Toes that turn upwards at the tips may suggest a form of lung disease.         


However, we all know that the best way to make sure our guts are healthy in the first place is to eat a varied & balanced nutrition, right? So if you or your workforce would like any nutritional guidance on how to not only to say healthy on the inside but to perform at your best while at work, then enquire about our nutrition Workforce Workshop. It covers everything from how to use food to give you energy at certain points in the day, help you sleep, help you stay awake, as well as super-foods.

I am away on holiday shortly so the next blog will be on eye health indicators in two weeks time.

James.

1 Sept 2011

Watch your tongue!


Hi folks,

How do we know if we’re in good health or not? – most of us probably presume we are until we feel ill then go to a doctor for medical advice right? As you know, I’m all about pro-active prevention so the next few weeks’ blogs are all about recognising the signs when the body is trying to tell you something. This week’s topic is your tongue!


Brushing our tongue is great for removing bacteria but our tongue also gives us an insight in to our internal health. Some acupuncture & Chinese medicine practitioners also inspect the tongue as any redness, swelling, sores, or dryness can represent nutritional deficiencies, digestive organ problems, infection elsewhere in the body, & even caners. 


Each major organ is represented on the tongue. The heart is at the tip of the tongue; just behind that is the lung area. The broad middle section shows the stomach and spleen, at the back are your kidneys and bladder, and liver is on the left side with gallbladder on the right side. So if you stick your tongue out in the mirror, you can practically see the condition of these organs. Your tongue should be pink, smooth, supple, slightly moist and fit perfectly in your mouth. If it has bumps, blemishes, spots, cuts then it maybe worth getting a medical opinion.


Its all quite obvious really, how do you know if you’re dogs healthy? Bright eyes, healthy teeth & gums, good quality coat (hair), these all apply to us. However if you have the wet nose to match then maybe you should see the doc!

Next weeks topic…Your feet!

James.

25 Aug 2011

Vitamin supplements of the future!

Hi folks,

Did you take a vitamin tablet today? If so was it because you’re not eating a balanced nutrition for whatever reason or maybe you are but you take them as ‘back-up’? Many nutritionists believe that our 5-a-day, recommended daily allowance (RDA), & guideline daily amounts (GDA), are too low compared to what the body actually needs to combat inflammation & disease. Apparently due to centuries of intense farming our soils are so nutrient poor that we can no longer get substantial vitamins from the crop. So perhaps the reason that these figures continued to be quoted are to make the best of a bad situation. Now I’m not into scaremongering but we are increasingly learning more about our bodies & this may be a possibility as population expands.


So, what might the vitamin tablet of the future look like? Well, the latest research has discovered that we can only get the most out of vitamins when they are digested in certain combinations. In the gut some vitamins prevent others form being absorbed & some are needed to help others absorb. The correct combinations are found in the foods we eat, not through chance but by our bodies evolving to use them this way. So you see, our bodies have not evolved a gut that can make use of all the vitamins at once, only in various combinations. Imagine receiving a letter where all the words where jumbled up – useless! Therefore the pill of the future is most likely to be one that releases vitamin combinations into the gut at different stages (remember Willy Wonka’s ‘3 course meal’ chewing gum!).


But for the time-being my advice is to have a well rounded nutrition & undergo vitamin / mineral deficiency testing to discover if you are lacking in any. More on this testing in future blogs! Add a comment below to share your vitamin habits & opinions.

James

18 Aug 2011

Don't exercise more than you need to.


Hi folks,

There are many questions to ask when you’re new to exercise, even the more advanced gym-go’ers actually have quite basic questions, a common one being “how often should I really exercise?” We have busy lives so lets not spend longer in the gym than we need to. The answer to this question really depends on what your goals are.

The national guidelines recommend spending 30min per day doing an activity that makes you slightly short of breath, 5 times per week. This is great for keeping healthy, however if you goal is to lose body fat then your body is only just starting to utilise it’s fat stores at the end of this 30min period, therefore I would perhaps recommend  40 – 90mins worth of moderate exercise 5 times per week for optimum results (after approx 90min of continuous exercise without fuel the body can start to breakdown muscle).

If your goal is to increase cardiovascular fitness levels then the good news is that you only need to go to the gym around 3 times per week but just make sure that the intensity covers a wider range, say up to 90% of your max.

When it comes to weights training then there is lots of flexibility depending on what muscles you want to train & what the desired affects are, so it best to ask an instructor for detail on this one.

Another interesting fact is that it’s easier to maintain your fitness / strength levels than to progress them. In other words research shows that if you normally exercise 5 times per week & are happy with your health, then cut this back to 2 -3 times per week. As long as the usual intensity is kept in those sessions then you will stay the same (good news if your having a busy week or going on holiday).

Hope this is helpful
james

11 Aug 2011

We need change!

Hi folks,


Although I’m no millionaire I really love my lifestyle. The thing that keeps me passionate & productive is having good variety in my day. I spend a lot of my time working on differnt areas of the company so this means dividing my time between working out & about, & working from home, then there’s house chores & social time too.

Keeping tabs on all these things is anything but boring & I know that it keeps me healthy in different ways. So if you’re feeling the mid-week grind & craving for the weekend to come then take note:


  1. Where possible, try to fill your working day with a number of different tasks, spending a few hours on varied work projects. This will stimulate your brain, raise your productivity, make your day go quicker, & keep things off the back-burners.


  1. Work in different locations. Get out of the office & travel to meetings, run a few work errands, or split your shift by going to the gym / supermarket for an hour then work a little later. Making your day more physically active not only burns a few more calories but lowers stress levels by changing your environment. It also reduces the risk of muscular-skeletal disorders (such as lower back pain) caused by postural fixity.


If you do have this amount of control over your job then use it to your advantage. The latest research regarding workplace health & productivity highlights psychosocial elements such as this!


 “A change is almost as good as a break”
                                                                        Quote by: Me, just now.


James

4 Aug 2011

Going Organic?


Hi folks,

A quick note to clear up any mist regarding organic produce & to aid your shopping choices:

Organic crops

What is organic food? Before looking in to it, like me you might have thought that this was food grown without the use of man made chemicals – Nope! For crops to be classed as organic they are allowed to be grown with some pesticides & fertilizers but these are strictly monitored by DEFRA & FSA. However, farming techniques such as crop rotation & good environmental management are employed on organic farms to give a better quality crop.


Livestock:

We’ve all seen the awful TV documentaries of intensive chicken farming & I think it’s safe to say we all know this is not a great example. DEFRA & FSA check that organic livestock is kept in ethical conditions to ensure it has a good quality of life. It is fed on quality ‘real’ food & kept within specific breeding programs to ensure the least chance of pests or disease.


For a food to be labelled organic, it must contain at least 95% organic produce. Tests have shown that organic food can have significantly higher nutrient value & a preferred taste to the same amount of non- organic food. However due to the extra management effort described above, it also carries a higher price tag. I know that we would all eat organic if money was no object, but thinking realistically what choices will you make on your next shopping trip? (Do we spend our £10 on a larger amount of lower quality food, or a smaller amount of higher quality food?)


*I’ve just uploaded a video of my Workforce Release sessions at HETA to my You Tube channel! Click here to take a look then subscribe to be notified when the next clip goes up.

Thanks

James

28 Jul 2011

Successfully Simple


Hi folks,

Like some other trainers, I often get myself on a deep thought track about new, better exercises for me to help my clients with, & this afternoon I hit the jackpot! No, they’re not intense, no you don’t need to be a gym-buff / bunny to do them, & no you don’t need complex equipment, - in fact you don’t need any!

These exercises I’ve designed will make your body functionally healthy, keeping your body moving the way it should & for as long as possible. Now not many ‘hardcore exercisers’ will achieve that, why? - Because they are overlooking it.

Sometimes when you follow the theory through, understand the biomechanics, & use your experience, you end up coming full circle. In other words, the simplest exercises are often the best, but for complex reasons.

So no matter what stage of exercise you’re at, it’s vital to involve these exercises at some level. I actually designed these when writing a Workforce Workshop on lower back pain for use on a corporate scale, so these exercises are valuable & perfectly suited to your workplace.

Contact me or ask me when we next meet & I might just give you a taster!!!

James

21 Jul 2011

Feeling the pressure?

Hi folks,

How many of us have had our blood pressure (BP) measured before? – probably all of us. How many of us where told what the figures mean? – probably not many of us, that’s even if we were told at all.

As you’ll be aware high BP can cause, or be result of serious health issues that will affect you life at home & at work, so let’s get to grips with it!

What does high BP look like? possible constant red skin pigmentation around the face, or someone who always looks stressed, & often someone who is obese.

What is high BP? Our arteries need to be elastic so that they can widen when the heart pumps large volumes of blood through. If they firm-up or contain blockages, then the blood is being pushed though a smaller space = high BP. A raised heart rate also raises BP. A measurement consists of two values, systolic which is the pressure in the arteries when the pulse travels through, & your diastolic which is the pressure of blood between pulses. Generally speaking a healthy BP is below 130 / 80mmHg.


What can we do to bring high BP down? (Around 30% of us don’t realise we have it)

1.      30min moderate exercise per day
2.      Eat a healthy nutrition (high fruit & veg, low in salt, sugar, & saturated fat)
3.      Reduce alcohol intake
4.      Quit smoking
5.      Relaxation (breathing exercises / making time for yourself)

If you suspect you may have high BP or haven’t had it checked in the last 6 months then please consult your doctor, but don’t panic as it is relatively easy to bring down using a combination of the points above.

James

14 Jul 2011

Good things come to those who…


Hi folks,

While there are times be patient & wait, yesterday I was chatting to a client encouraging them to take opportunities. If you think about it, our lives are full of opportunities but how many of them do we take?


Taking Opportunities:      e.g. Changing your next step / direction such as starting to eat healthily at your next meal rather than waiting until next Monday, or implementing a new work health programme rather than just following the usual procedures etc.

But what if we never seem to get any opportunities?


Making opportunities:      e.g. Even though its out of your comfort zone, arrange that meeting or go across to speak to that person who you may not know but could help you take a huge step forwards in your health or workplace protocols.


I have learnt that people who go places are good at being pro-active, not by waiting in case lady luck happens to come along, but by making opportunities. Think about all the things that you want to change about your life (floating in the back of your head), within every day lies an opportunity to do something about them! It's easier not to do anything, so for me the question I have to constantly ask myself is “Is there a good reason to not do this NOW?”

Hope you find this useful,

James

8 Jul 2011

Top 5 shopping tips


Hi folks,

For me, Friday is my weekly food shopping day & for all of us this is when we can make a massive commitment to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy & varied shopping trolley = a balanced diet. Here are my top 5 fruit & veg tips for your next food shop:

  1. Buy enough fruit & veg for 5-9 portions (handfuls) per day.

  1. Don’t worry if it’s misshapen, e.g. the knobbly carrots that never get picked are just as good for you as the 5* ones!

  1. Buy enough fresh veg to last into the first 3 days of your week. After this point use frozen veg as it will have retained more of its nutrients.

  1. Buy fruit & veg spanning a wide range of colours, this it healthier than just greens alone.

  1. Store your fruit & veg at the front of the shelf / drawer as this will prompt you to use it more & it hides ‘naughty’ foods until we actually want them.   

A great time to assess the balance of your shopping list is when it’s travelling down that belt towards the till or when packing. That’s the time to have a sneaky look at everyone else’s shopping then smugly strole out of there knowing you’ve make a great start to a healthy week.  

Have a great weekend

30 Jun 2011

Another excuse to sunbathe!!

 
Hi guys,

Hope you coped last week without my usual blog, I was away on holiday which sparked inspiration for this one. How hot was it last weekend? ...& I think this coming weekend if supposed to be sunny too! If you feel guilty about a little sunbathing or if anyone thinks your being lazy, just say “I’m getting my dose of vitamin D!”

Our body cannot make vitamins itself so we have to attain them. We require 400 IU of vitamin D which can be found in fortified cereals, dairy products, & yes you guessed it, sunlight. The more intense the sunlight, the higher the ultra violet (UV) radiation we are exposed to which our bodies use to make vitamin D.

It is needed for healthy bones & teeth, plus for phosphorous & calcium production (also involved in nerve / muscle health). Deficiency in vitamin D is not uncommon; you may know it as rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults.  Both result in low mineral counts in bones & lower bone density, especially in the legs & spine. Symptoms may include thinning of tooth enamel & easily broken bones. Treatment involves vitamin D supplements until levels of calcium & phosphorous increase.

Remember though, use sunscreen when sunbathing and limit exposure according to your skin type. More guidance on this can be found on this NHS website.

Enjoy!

James.